New York’s punk rock and new wave scene in the mid-to-late 1970s laid the foundation for a musical revolution, the reverberations of which are still being felt today. Due Jan. 25 via Koch Records, the 14-track “New York Rocks” compilation pays tribute to the well-known architects of the genre such as the Ramones and Velvet Underground, as well as some of the more obscure.
“The New York scene was always about a lot more than just the Ramones and the Velvets and this collection demonstrates that with its mixture of classics and hard-to-find gems by the Dictators, the Mumps, and the legendary Wayne County,” compilation producer Bill Crowley says.
Originally Wayne and later known as Jayne, County was among the more notorious members of punk’s in-crowd. A transsexual who was for a time the house DJ at legendary Gotham nightclub Max’s Kansas City, he/she fronted the Electric Chairs, as well as the Back Street Boys — no relation to the similarly named boy band of recent years — whose “Max’s Kansas City 1976” is included here.
Also represented on “New York Rocks” are the Heartbreakers’ “Born To Lose” and Mink Deville’s “Let Me Dream If I Want To.” The Dead Boys’ oft-covered classic “Sonic Reducer” is also included, along with the Mumps’ “Crocodile Tears” and Heartbreakers/New York Dolls principal Johnny Thunders’ drug-addled lament “You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.”
Linking the lesser known cuts are several of the acts that found widespread acclaim outside of the scene, such as the Velvet Underground (“Rock & Roll”), the Ramones (“Blitzkrieg Bop”), Patti Smith (“Ask the Angels”) and Blondie (“X Offender”).
Here is the “New York Rocks” track list:
“Rock & Roll,” the Velvet Underground
“Blitzkrieg Bop,” the Ramones
“Ask the Angels,” Patti Smith
“(I Live For) Cars and Girls,” the Dictators
“See No Evil,” Television
“X Offender,” Blondie
“Let Me Dream If I Want To,” Mink DeVille
“Born To Lose,” the Heartbreakers
“Blank Generation,” Richard Hell and the Voidoids
“You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory,” Johnny Thunders
“Sonic Reducer,” the Dead Boys
“Crocodile Tears,” the Mumps
“Max’s Kansas City 1976,” Wayne County and the Back Street Boys